¿Cuándo se inventó la Navidad?

El árbol de Navidad, crackers, las postales navideñas, mince pies, … Todos estos elementos indispensables de una Navidad al más puro estilo inglés tienen un origen relativamente reciente.

¿Qué es para vosotros la Navidad? Seguramente la mayoría pensaréis en regalos, familia, paz y felicidad. Pues, aunque cueste creerlo, lo que actualmente entendemos por una «Navidad tradicional» no existía antes del siglo XIX.

Como muchas otras tradiciones que parecen ser muy antiguas, la Navidad no se «inventó” hasta mediados del siglo XIX, en la época Victoriana. Esto significa que fue en ese momento cuando nació la idea moderna de la Navidad, es decir, la que tenemos hoy en día. 

En el caso del Reino Unido, se dice que fue a partir del matrimonio de la Reina Victoria con el Príncipe Alberto, de origen alemán, que se introdujeron en el país muchos de los elementos más conocidos de esta fiesta. 

  1. El árbol de Navidad

La familia real en torno a su árbol de Navidad en el castillo de Windsor.

En 1848 el periódico Illustrated London News publicó una imagen de la familia real alrededor de un árbol de Navidad, una tradición alemana llegada con el Príncipe Alberto. Los árboles se decoraban con velas, dulces, fruta, pequeños regalos y decoraciones caseras.

  1. Las postales navideñas

La primera postal de Navidad en el Reino Unido / Victoria & Albert Museum

Para aquellos que opinan que hoy en día la Navidad es una fiesta puramente “comercial”, os diremos que ya lo era en el siglo XIX. En 1843 Sir Henry Cole encargó al artista J. C. Horsley que diseñara la primera postal de Navidad. Gracias a los avances tecnológicos, pronto se abarataron los costes de producción de las postales y la industria de las tarjetas despegó. En la década de 1880, enviar postales por Navidad era ya una «tradición» muy popular, dando lugar a una lucrativa industria que produjo 11.5 millones de tarjetas en el mismo año 1880. 

  1. Crackers

Otra lucrativa tradición navideña inventada por los victorianos son los crackers, unos paquetitos que contienen pequeños regalos y sombreros de papel que, al tirar de los extremos, se rompen. Los primeros aparecieron en 1848 de la mano de Tom Smith y actualmente no hay familia que no ponga crackers en su mesa el día de Navidad.

  1. Decoraciones

En la época Victoriana, la decoración del hogar se convirtió un asunto serio. Las decoraciones se volvieron más elaboradas, más sofisticadas, y su estilo y ubicación cobraron una gran importancia. ¡Incluso las revistas empezaron a publicar instrucciones sobre cómo decorar las casas! En ellas se alentaban el orden y la elegancia, de acuerdo con la moral de la época. 

  1. Regalos

Otra tradición navideña es el intercambio de regalos. En el Reino Unido era costumbre hacerlo en Año Nuevo pero esta actividad se desplazó al día de Navidad a medida que esta fiesta iba ganando protagonismo. Al principio los regalos eran bastante modestos (fruta, dulces, abalorios…) y se colgaban en el árbol. Pero a partir del momento en que el intercambio de regalos se volvió un acto central de la celebración, éstos se hicieron más grandes y se empezaron a comprar en tiendas (en lugar de hacerlos a mano), de modo que dejaron de colgarse en el árbol para dejarlos en el suelo.

  1. Mince pies

Es también en la época victoriana que el menú del día de Navidad empieza a tomar forma. Uno de los elementos clave son los llamados mince pies. Antes de la era victoriana, estos pastelillos estaban rellenos de carne y se sabe que se comían ya en el siglo XVI. Pero durante el siglo XIX su composición cambió: las recetas sin carne empezaron a ganar popularidad entre la alta sociedad y dieron lugar a los mince pies actuales, rellenos de fruta. Encontrad una receta aquí.

  1. Christmas Caroling

Hoy en día todavía hay grupos de cantantes que se visten «a la victoriana» y cantan villancicos por las calles / Christmas Matters Holiday Carolers

Los villancicos no era nada nuevo para los victorianos pero sí que fueron ellos los que los revivieron y popularizaron. Los músicos de la época pusieron música nueva a letras antiguas y la primera colección importante de villancicos se publicó en 1833.

  1. La fiesta familiar por excelencia

 

En esta época se consolidó el vínculo entre los conceptos «Navidad» y «familia».  La preparación de la comida, la decoración del hogar, los regalos, los juegos de sobremesa, todas estas actividades se concibieron para ser realizadas en familia. Un libro que contribuyó a la expansión de todas estas nuevas costumbres fue A Christmas Carol, de Charles Dickens, publicado en 1843. En él vemos recopiladas las ideas básicas de la Navidad victoriana: familia, caridad, bondad, paz y felicidad. 

 

Fuente: http://www.bbc.co.uk/victorianchristmas/history.shtml

 

 

For you and those whom you hold dear

We wish a Christmas full of cheer

Merry Christmas! 

 

 

 

 

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Este año con AprendeInglésToday vas a poder cumplir tu propósito.

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ESTE AÑO VA A SER DIFERENTE

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

AprendeInglesToday

 

Promoción válida del 16 de diciembre 2016  al 31 de enero 2017 para nuevos alumnos de los centros de AIT Language School  La Garriga y  L’Ametlla del Vallès.

(*) Los libros de FCE y CAE no se incluyen en esta promoción

An unforgettable New Year’s Eve!

La Garriga, l’Ametlla del Vallès… ¿Ya sabéis dónde pasaréis la noche de fin de año? ¡Echad un vistazo a este artículo y descubrid los mejores lugares para pasar esta noche tan especial!

The 10 Benew-year-eve-riverboats-archst Places To Spend New Year’s Eve in Europe

By A. Reyner (Escape Here)

New Year’s Eve is a time most of us look forward to putting the old year behind us and starting with a fresh slate in the new year. Many people believe that how we ring in the new year also has bearing on what the year will bring us. For travelers, what could be better than celebrating with friends new and old in a far-flung locale, experiencing local traditions and creating new ones? These 10 European cities know how to ring in the new year; get your year started on the right foot by visiting one of these parties.

10. LONDON

london

More than 250,000 people will crowd along the banks of the Thames to ring in the new year. Big Ben performs countdown services and the stroke of midnight marks the beginning a spectacular 10-minute display of lights and fireworks. The London Eye, the Shard and Parliament are among the iconic buildings lit up to welcome the new year. Looking to stay out of the cold and rain? Head to the soiree at the London Sky Bar, where you’ll find food and a live DJ, plus fabulous views of the revelry in the streets below. Free public transport all night will help get you to one of many after-parties around the city. Visit the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and, on New Year’s Day, take in the annual parade, which features a procession of the Queen’s horses, among others

9. DUBROVNIK

dubrovnik

Croatia may not be a top destination for New Year’s revelers, but the city of Dubrovnik gets extra points for managing to host an almost intimate party, despite the number of people who come out to celebrate. Less claustrophobic than parties in Zagreb and Split, the festivities in Dubrovnik center on Stradun, the city’s main street, where you’re likely to bump elbows with locals on their way to bars and restaurants filled to bursting with celebrating crowds. The city also hosts a number of Croatian performers, offering up a rich program of music and entertainment for the evening. Start with a cozy meal with friends or family, or, if you’re traveling with your honey, consider splurging on a meal at one of the city’s upscale establishments. Join the crowds in Stradun for the stroke of midnight, then keep the party going by stopping off at a local bar.

8. STOCKHOLM

stockholm

The Swedes celebrate Christmas in a relatively subdued style, which means they’re all the more ready to let loose and party on New Year’s Eve. Revelry is the order of the day in the nation’s capital, with parties becoming raucous and celebrations pouring into the streets. Fill up on a seafood at a restaurant before moving your party to Skansen, which has been the center of Stockholm’s celebrations since 1895. At the stroke of midnight, a well-known Swede will read the poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” as streamers fill the air. Party trumpets and fireworks erupt all around the city. After midnight, participate in some club-hopping and keep the party going late into the night; bars and clubs are often open until 3 or 4 in the morning, giving you plenty of time to celebrate the new year.

7. PARIS

paris

It should be little wonder that one of Europe’s most iconic cities makes the list as one of the best places to spend New Year’s. The Eiffel Tower is lit up to mark the occasion and crowds of revelers swarm the Champs-Elysees, which provides fantastic views of the tower. The area turns into a massive street party, with both champagne bottles and fireworks popping everywhere. If you’re looking for something a little different, try Montmarte for excellent views of fireworks without the crowd. If you want something romantic, book a dinner cruise along the Seine and listen to a live orchestra as you sail through the City of Lights. Restaurants and nightclubs also hold soirees so you have no shortage of options for how to ring in the new year. On New Year’s Day, the Grande Parade de Paris caps off the celebrations.

 6. VIENNA

vienna

Vienna, once the center of empire and a beautiful city beloved by intellectuals and artists, is perhaps the best place in Europe to experience an “Old World” New Year’s celebration. The city’s most famous party is the Grand Ball held at the Hofburg Palace, but there are plenty of other opportunities for revelry in the Austrian capital. The city’s famous Christmas markets transform into fairs and the New Year’s Eve Trail will lead you through the Old City. The party begins at 2 in the afternoon and continues long after the clock has struck midnight. Mulled wine is the drink of choice for this crowd. A spectacular fireworks display highlights the Wiener Prater fair at midnight. On New Year’s Day, join the crowd gathered outside City Hall to watch the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert on a giant screen.

 5. AMSTERDAM

amsterdam

Amsterdam is known as something of a party city for North Americans, and on New Year’s Eve, the city shows that it deserves that reputation, with impromptu street parties filling the spaces between large, organized revelry in public places like Rembrandtplein, Nieumarkt, Museumplein and Dam Square. Outdoor concerts are complemented by indoor parties at bars. Fireworks go on sale the day before the celebrations, so you can be sure to see plenty of displays. Grab a perch on one of the city’s many bridges and watch the colors explode across the nighttime sky, mirrored in the water below. Grab a glass of champagne and some fried treats (like oliebollen, viamse frites and bitterballen) from the street vendors, then head to the club to keep the party going.

4. REYKJAVIK

reykjavik

Reykjavik receives only 4 hours of sun on New Year’s Eve, which means the locals are more than ready to celebrate with a festival of light. They start with community bonfires, meant to burn away the troubles of the old year. There are no official fireworks displays organized by the city; rather, there are numerous displays put on by private citizens. Fireworks will often start about half-an-hour before midnight, lighting up every corner of the city as almost 200,000 people get involved. Head to Perlan or Landakotskirkja church for the best views of the city. Plenty of small, private parties keep things hopping, and bars and clubs remain open well after midnight. Since Icelanders tend to go out late anyway, you’ll often find revelers up until the wee hours of the morning, dancing the night away.

 3. ISTANBUL

istanbul

Istanbul has been on the rise as a must-see destination for travelers, and what better time than New Year’s? While visiting this vibrant European capital is an experience and a half at any time of year, Istanbul one-ups itself on New Year’s Eve. Start your evening with a traditional Turkish meze dinner in a restaurant in Bebek or Istiklal Caddesi, where celebrations are a little tamer. Afterwards, join the jubilant crowd in the streets of Taksim or another part of the city, where revelers will organize impromptu street parties. If the crowded streets aren’t your scene, you can always book a river cruise along the Bosphorus and watch the celebrations from afar as you sail through the city. The best part is that you’ll have one of the best views for the stunning fireworks at the stroke of midnight.

2. PRAGUE

prague

Prague is known as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and one of the most beautiful in the world. The “city of a hundred spires” comes alive on New Year’s Eve, which is also known as Silvestr. The streets will be packed with a rag-tag crowd of revelers, and bars, clubs and restaurants will be filled with party-goers. Much of the fun takes place at Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. Fireworks are set off all around town (and perhaps with a bit of dangerous abandon), with one of the best displays occurring at Letna Gardens, which can be watched from nearby bridges and embankments. Champagne bottles are smashed during the celebrations, which means you might want to bring a helmet to this party, but who could resist ringing in the new year in the heart of Europe?

1. BERLIN

berlin

Germany’s capital has something of a reputation as a party city throughout the year, so it makes sense that the city has a go-big-or-go-home attitude toward New Year’s festivities. The highlight is undoubtedly “Party Mile,” a 2-km stretch between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, lined with bars, food stalls, music stages, party tents and laser light shows. The fireworks begin promptly at midnight, as do the toasts to the new year. Many people then hit the dancefloors of the city’s clubs, partying until well after sun-up. The Berliner Silversterlauf, the infamous New Year’s Eve “pancake run,” is another tradition in the city. Some people run the free 4-km race on New Year’s Day. Berlin expects to welcome approximately a million revelers to help ring in 2016—maybe you’ll be one of them.

10 facts about English

didyouknow

Ten Facts That You Perhaps Didn’t Know about English

Text source: Daily Express

 

English is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to understand why so many people want to study English.

You will undoubtedly be learning a lot of interesting things in your English classes. But here are some facts that perhaps you didn’t know about this fascinating language:

 

  1. The English language as we now know it began to emerge in the 14th century from a variety of dialects including Old Norse and Late West Saxon.
Early 12th century Old Norse manuscript / www.babelstone.co.uk

Early 12th century Old Norse manuscript / www.babelstone.co.uk

  1. Language, grammar and particularly spelling only really became standardised with the publication of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary in 1755.
Dr Johnson's Dictionary / D'Youville College Archives

Dr Johnson’s Dictionary / D’Youville College Archives

  1. More English words begin with the letter ‘S’ than any other letter of the alphabet.

s

  1. Mandarin Chinese is the only language spoken by more people around the world than English. *Our teachers at AIT Language School say: Not anymore! Nowadays, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish are the two most spoken languages in the world.

languages

  1. Around one in eight of all letters in written English is an ‘e’.

e

  1. The longest common words that can be typed on the top row of a keyboard are ‘proprietor’, ‘repertoire’, ‘perpetuity’ and ‘typewriter’ itself.

typewriter

  1. The three words most common in spoken English are ‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘the’.

DV-00147797-001

  1. The top three words in written English are ‘the’, ‘of’ and ‘and’.

the

  1. The word ‘uncopyrightable’ consists entirely of different letters. Along with ‘dermatoglyphics’ (study of fingerprints), it is the longest such word.

uncopyrightable

  1. The English language grows at a rate of about one new word every two hours.

ascending-graph

 

 

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